This year’s “Conference of the Parties,” or COP, is officially underway. Now in its 23rd year, organizations have an opportunity to understand its purpose and meaning for the public and private sectors.
The COP traces its roots back to the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, which
set out a framework for action aimed at avoiding climate impact.
Today, the conference boasts a near-universal membership of 196
countries, carrying forward the mission of addressing leading climate
issues facing the world.
At COP 21, all of the nations in attendance came together to sign
the famous Paris Climate
Agreement to combat climate change. Though the recent major news
has been the United States withdrawal of the agreement in 2020, the United Nation’s
chief climate negotiator Christina Figueres believes the
withdrawal has “shored up the world’s resolve on climate action, and
for that we can all be grateful.”
The private sector must take a larger stand to work with the world’s
organizations, both public and private, to commit to addressing the
issues of climate change. This is where forums like COP shine. The
conference brings together representatives from countries and private
industry to find real solutions.
Leaders from Ingersoll Rand have participated for 10 years. We
engage with delegates to ensure country-level delegates have access to
the latest information on next-generation technologies and solutions
can help them achieve their GHG reduction targets.
In 2014 we made a public Climate Commitment to increase our energy efficiency and minimize our GHG emissions, and we take that commitment just as seriously now as we did then. We’ve already made great progress on our commitments, avoiding approximately 6.7 million metric tons of CO2e, equivalent to the emissions from nearly 700,000 homes’ electricity use for one year.
Our efforts reflect the wider initiatives of the private sector to
make a greater push towards sustainability, and our successes
demonstrate the difference individual organizations can make.
Ingersoll Rand was the first industrial company to acknowledge climate
risk in our 10-K filing, and we’ve confirmed plans to re-engineer
products for a resource constrained world. We’ve also introduced our
our industry-leading product portfolio that meets customer
requirements for energy efficiency while reducing climate and
environmental impacts at a significantly improved performance level
than alternatives – both our competitors’ products and our legacy
However, no matter the size of the company, organizations can take
many climate-friendly actions. For example, buildings are responsible
for approximately 40 percent of GHG emissions in mature parts of the
world, and as much as 80 percent in some developing markets, with
heating and cooling accounting for 40 percent of a building’s GHG
emissions. That means that heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
(HVAC) alone is responsible for somewhere between 16-32 percent of all
global GHG emissions. So, imagine if we cut that number in half –
that’s what we did in our Climate Commitment – a 50 percent reduction
in our HVAC product portfolio. Now, imagine if other companies, in
other industries like automotive or food production, did the same
thing -- half a dozen leading companies could change the world by
changing the conversation for their industry.
As COP 23 gets underway, it is important for the private sector to
share insights, learnings and solutions for addressing global
environmental issues as well as reflect on how to increase
sustainability efforts. The more we magnify this conversation, the
sooner we can gain acceptance of climate-friendly actions that will
not only have a lasting, positive impact on business, but also change